A year ago, the death of the DCEU was being mooted by every blogger under the sun. The sound of chip-crusted fingers slamming the keyboard emanated every time someone mentioned Warner’s superhero franchise. Then, came the insider rumours that Wonder Woman was a glorious mess and how it was doomed to fail. Oh, how I love the days when the Internet is forced to eat its own BS like this one.
Serving as an origin story, Wonder Woman follows Diana as she grows up in the Amazon paradise known as Themyscira before meeting Steve Trevor and venturing out into the world to stop the war. Without giving away too many spoilers, there’s a wonderful mythology aspect to her story that should appeal to all fans of ancient Greek history. Sure, it does deviate from what we know from the old texts, but it does provide an interesting spin on how the gods and humans coexisted.
Now, onto what we really want to know about: the action. Patty Jenkins has taken Zack Snyder’s signature style and added her own stamp to make this a grandiose, action-packed affair. There’s a host of moments that’ll make you leap off your chair and punch the air as if you’re Wonder Woman herself. The big memorable one here is the No Man’s Land scene, which is set to replace the warehouse brawl in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as your new favourite action sequence in the DCEU. If you don’t feel the shivers while watching that scene, please stay at home because your bad taste might be contagious.
Not only is the film an action delight, but it has a sense of humour and heart to it, too. Jenkins executes a tremendous job in balancing a solid action-centric superhero story with other elements that’ll make this far bigger than just another summer blockbuster. Seeing Diana as a fish out of water as she learns about outside life with Steve is both heart-warming and hilarious. You’ll get caught up in the moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity, as well as the tearjerkers. Bravo to the writers and director for instilling innocence in this film that creeps into your heart and stays with you long after the credits roll.
I’ve read a couple of reviews questioning Gal Gadot’s acting ability. Well, I suggest the reviewers perhaps watch something else apart from the regular Hollywood releases to appreciate the diversity of actors from across the globe. Quite simply, Gadot is Wonder Woman; there is no one else I can envision in the role. Not only is her accent perfect for the character, Gadot also has a remarkable ability to convey a range of emotion with her eyes that would make seasoned actors weep. From happiness to heartbreak, she makes you feel everything she’s going through without often needing a word and is entirely believable as Diana. Also, her onscreen chemistry with Chris Pine is undeniable and crystal clear – you feel the love between the characters and you root for them throughout.
So, is Wonder Woman the best film of the DCEU so far? Yes, for the reason it was allowed to be what it is without needing to tie in to the extended universe apart from one small reference. It’s a mark of excellent storytelling since it allows for anyone to watch it without needing prior background knowledge of the character or the film franchise.
Overall, the result here is clear: Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is this generation’s Richard Donner’s Superman. It’s a marvellous action-adventure film that carries the themes of hope, optimism, and love on its sleeve proudly. We’ve been blessed with an array of wonderful comic book movies over the years, but Wonder Woman is exactly what this world needs right now.